Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Counties win state defense grants

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties are among the organizations that will receive state defense grants designed to improve Florida's position as a host for military installations and activities. The state will award $2.25 million in two categories of defense grants: reinvestment and infrastructure. The Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, Team Santa Rosa Economic Development Council and Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will receive grants from both categories. (Source: governor’s press office, 09/30/08)

Official addresses F-35 noise issue

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - An Air Force official says the F-35 fighters will be no louder than an F-22 or F-18. Major General Charles Davis spoke Tuesday to a group at Okaloosa Island to address concerns, mainly from Valparaiso residents, that jets will be too noisy and lower property values once Eglin Air Force Base begins a new mission as the location for Joint Strike Fighter training. That new mission will bring some 10,000 people to Okaloosa County in the next 10 years. (Source: WEAR-TV3, 09/30/08)

Contract: U of Florida, $30M

University of Florida of Gainesville, Fla., is being awarded a contract for a maximum of $30 million to promote/enhance local graduate level engineering education by fulfilling research, development, test, and evaluation requirements for Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The tasks will result in insertion of real-world scenarios into the curriculum. Theoretical and/or applied research in areas including aerodynamic and computational fluid dynamics, computer science/software engineering, electro-magnetic/optics, engineering mechanics, guidance and control technology, systems engineering, and signal processing is contemplated. Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL/RWK, Eglin, is the contracting activity. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/30/08)

Contract: Boeing-SVS, $30M

Boeing-SVS, Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., is being awarded a contract for a maximum of $30 million to provide Advanced Tactical Laser Extended User Evaluation. The ATL EUE is an effort to operate and evaluate the single residual systems developed during the ATL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration. This proprietary system integrates a high-energy laser into an Air Force C-130 aircraft. 687 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/30/08)

Contract: New Mexico State U, $9.9M

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M., is being awarded a cost reimbursement no fee contract for a maximum of $9.95 million. This contract will establish Unmanned Aerial System Program for UAS research, development, test, and evaluation, including USS operations in the National Airspace System. AAC/PKET, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/30/08)

Cabana leaving Stennis for Kennedy

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Bob Cabana is leaving as director of John C. Stennis Space Center in mid-October to become director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Cabana replaces William Parsons, who is leaving NASA to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Stennis Deputy Director Gene Goldman will become acting director at Stennis. Goldman, who began his NASA career in 1990, joined Stennis in October 2006. Prior to that he was manager of the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project at NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (Source: NASA, 09/30/08)

McArtor: Airbus committed to Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. - Airbus passed the 100-employee mark at its aircraft engineering center in Mobile, and the company remains committed to expanding, according Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas. The Mobile Engineering Center formally opened at the Brookley Field Industrial Complex in February 2007 with 32 employees. Initially assigned to interior design work on the A350 aircraft, its mission has grown. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 09/30/08)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Contract: Del-Jen, $20.3M

Del-Jen, Inc., Gardena, Calif., has been awarded $20.3 million by the Navy to exercise the first option period under a previously awarded contract with award options for Base Operations Support (BOS) services at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Saufley Field, Corry Station, and Bronson Field. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/29/08)

Contract: DynCorp, $9.6M

DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $9.6 million estimated value modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for aircraft maintenance and life cycle support for 12 Navy UC-35 aircraft. Sixteen percent of the work will be performed at Naval Air Station New Orleans. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/29/08)

Fire Scout wins 2nd year low-rate run

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout helicopter drone has moved into its second year of low-rate initial production with a $32.9 million contract award from the Naval Air Systems Command. It's the second of three planned LRIP buys. The Navy plans to conduct technical evaluation of the Fire Scout aboard an FFG-7 in early 2009. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 09/29/08)

Congress affirms commitment to space

The NASA Authorization Act cleared Congress on Saturday and provides funding for space programs and aeronautics research and development. Provisions include $20.2 billion for the agency, with an additional $1 billion dedicated to accelerated development of the Orion spacecraft and Ares 1 launch vehicle. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are key players in those programs. (Source: PR Newswire, 09/29/08)

Valparaiso to discuss suit

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city commission meets Thursday behind closed doors to discuss the suit the city filed against the Air Force. In the suit, the city alleges that information about Base Realignment and Closure measures has been withheld. The city is requesting all Air Force records relating to BRAC, the Joint Land Use Study and the draft Environmental Impact Statement. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/28/08)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Destin to weigh in on F-35 noise

DESTIN, Fla. - At a special meeting Monday night, the City Council will weigh the merits of a boost to the Emerald Coast economy compared to the drawbacks of added noise overhead. At issue are plans to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the related equipment and personnel at Eglin Air Force Base. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/26/08)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rolls-Royce to power BAMS

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Rolls-Royce says it will be providing AE 3007H engines to power the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System. The BAMS project uses Navy versions of the Global Hawk and will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the fleet. Global Hawk is built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Business Wire, 09/25/08)

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $42.5M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $42.5 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for logistics support for 123 TH-57B/TH-57C aircraft. Work will be performed at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla. and NAS Patuxent River, Md. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/25/08)

Contract: Sikorsky, $132.8M

Sikorsky Support Services Inc. of Pensacola, Fla., was awarded a $132.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for contractor logistics support services for the T-34, T-44, and T-6 aircraft. Work will be performed at more than a dozen locations, including Pensacola, Milton, Fla., and Fort Rucker, Ala. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/25/08)

Riley: Mobile will build tankers

MOBILE, Ala. - Alabama Gov. Bob Riley told some 250 real estates agents that Air Force refueling tankers will be built in Mobile. "Absolutely," predicted the governor. Northrop/EADS won the contract in February and planned to build them in Mobile, but Boeing's protest was upheld. Early this month the Pentagon decided to scrap the competition and let the next administration decide. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 09/26/08)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project eyes LIDAR on UAVs

KILN, Miss. - The House-passed defense authorization bill includes $1.2 million for a project exploring the use of commercially available LIDAR on unmanned aerial systems. Optech International of Kiln is leading the effort. LIDAR has a similar goal to radar but measures scattered light rather than radio waves to "see" distant objects. Lidar-equipped military UAVs could be used in the littoral zone over shallow waters. (Source: Tcp, 09/25/08)

Fire Scout test aimed at Coast Guard

The first flight of a Fire Scout with multimode maritime radar has removed a major obstacle to U.S. Coast Guard interest in the shipborne vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned air vehicle. Mike Fuqua, Fire Scout business development manager for builder Northrop Grumman, says the Coast Guard has made clear its interest in the Fire Scout for operation from its new National Security Cutter. Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Aviation Week, 09/25/08)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bill: Tanker fight would consider subsidies

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Norman Dicks, D-Wash., says the defense authorization bill passed Wednesday contains a provision requiring the Defense Secretary to review the impact of subsidies on the tanker replacement program. Dicks said a new competition is expected to be launched by the next administration after a WTO ruling on the subsidy complaint. (Source: news release, 09/24/08)

Gates rules out split tanker buy

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ruled out a potential compromise on the U.S. Air Force tanker contract that would split the order between Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp., saying the cost of such a proposal would outweigh any benefit to the military. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 09/24/08)

Pensacola getting new baggage system

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Siemens has been awarded a $7.19 million design-build contract for the new in-line baggage screening system at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport.Siemens will provide 438 meters of baggage handling conveyor, 11 high-speed diverters, four explosives detection systems and four sort units. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 09/24/08)

Valparaiso sues Air Force

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city of Valparaiso has sued the Air Force, alleging that previously requested information about Base Realignment and Closure measures have been withheld. The city wants all Air Force records relating to BRAC, the Joint Land Use Study and the draft Environmental Impact Statement. City officials and residents are worried about noise generated by the Joint Strike Fighter mission's F-35s that that will stand up at Eglin Air Force Base beginning in 2011. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/23/08)

Employee wins Tyndall suit

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A former Tyndall Air Force Base employee has won nearly $1 million in damages from the U.S. Air Force. A federal jury last week found that Bridgett Keegan was a victim of gender discrimination when she was passed over for promotion twice in 2005 for two men who were less qualified, according to Keegan’s attorney and employees at the federal courthouse in Panama City. (Source: Florida Freedom Newspapers, 09/24/08)

Monday, September 22, 2008

AFSOC buying more aircraft

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - While the broader Air Force is bogged down in some of its aircraft programs, its Special Operations Command is moving ahead to replace refuelers, helicopters, buy small cargo aircraft and boost gunship capabilities. One of its new aircraft, the Bell-Boeing CV-22, is slated to be deployed next month to Africa. The command has nine CV-22s, five at Hurlburt and four at Kirtland AFB, N.M. The final seven MH-53 Pave Low helicopters being replaced by the CV-22 will be retired by the end of this month. (Source: Aviation Week, 09/21/08)

Contract for science center awarded

NASA has awarded the Infinity site development contract to Gottfried, LLC of Covington, La. The $4.4 million contract marks the official start of construction of the science center in Hancock County, Miss., just a short distance from the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. (Source: Infinity, 09/22/08)

Fire Scout shows tracking ability

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A Northrop Grumman-owned Fire Scout drone helicopter demonstrated it can search for, detect, and track multiple targets during a test surveillance mission Sept. 19 at the Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. test center. The ability is crucial for naval littoral combat missions. The Fire Scout is build in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 09/22/08)

NASA, AF want hypersonic centers

WASHINGTON - NASA and the Air Force are looking for university and industry partners to advance hypersonic research. NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington and the Air Force Research Laboratory's Office of Science Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, have released a broad agency announcement describing their intent to establish three national hypersonic science centers. As much as $30 million will be used to fund the centers over five years, with a maximum grant of some $2 million a year. Details: www.grants.gov (Source: NASA, 09/22/08)

Friday, September 19, 2008

DayJet suspends operations

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Air taxi start-up DayJet has suspended air taxi operations. DayJet has struggled to obtain financing to reach the critical mass of operations necessary to achieve profitability. The FAA said DayJet retains its operating certificate and that company officials did not indicate whether the carrier was permanently going out of business. DayJet has served Pensacola, Fla., since October 2007. News release. (Source: AviationWeek, 09/19/08)